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What you will get: Reflections on Altruism

So you’re walking down the street…


And suddenly you see a shiny new €10 note.


Do you…


1 – Put in in your wallet/purse and think to yourself, “It’s my lucky day.”


2 – Go to the nearest confectionary shop and buy yourself some fabulous chocolate?


3 – Call your friend and treat him/her to coffee?


4 – Give the €10 to the next homeless person you see?


Now to the really important questions….


Which of these options will give you the most fulfillment?
Which will leave you feeling happiest after you do it?


Well according to a number of independent studies – it’s option 4 (closely followed by option 3).


You see…


Acts of kindness and altruism are not entirely selfless. Each time you do something kind, you feel good. You get a kick of oxytocin and serotonin triggered by the limbic reward centre in your brain.


And what’s more…


It’s a wonderful cycle of happiness to get into…


Happier People Give More.
Giving Creates Happiness.
Happier People Give More.
Giving Creates Happiness.


And let’s face it, we’re at a point in our existence when we could all use a little more happiness, right?


As Professor Richard Layard states in his wonderful book, “Happiness: Lessons from a New Science”:


“I am in no doubt there is a great need (for more happiness). Despite greater affluence, our lives are increasingly stressful. Many of us have more materially, but we are no happier and there are rising rates of mental ill health.”


So how can you give more and therefore create more happiness in your life?


How about…


⦁ An simple act of kindness?
⦁ Giving time to someone who appreciates it (and needs a little company)?
⦁ Remembering to help others in bad AND good times?
⦁ Cutting people some slack (don’t judge them)?
⦁ Making acts of giving part of your regular habits?


And on a corporate scale?


What about the Corporate Social Responsibility Project you always wanted to do?


Getting your team involved in an act of kindness will have measurable benefits to the engagement and motivation levels of the team.


Another win-win!


I’ll leave this simple message with the words of Martin Luther King:


“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness”


I’m off to create an act of kindness today and trigger my brain’s reward centre so I feel good afterwards.


How about you?


To your fulfillment.


Steve Neale
“Europe’s Leading Expert on Personal and Professional Growth”


Psychologist, Executive Coach, EI Practitioner, Award Winning Trainer, International Author, Psychodynamic Therapist, Hypnotherapist, Mindfulness Instructor, International Speaker, Creator of the LPS, Creator of the Accredited Masters in High Performance Leadership

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